The majority of people are familiar with Jan Broberg. Now, thanks to the film A Friend of the Family, we have access to a dramatisation of her narrative. In this exclusive interview, Nick Antosca discusses the process of developing that story.
Jan Broberg, then 12 years old, disappeared in 1974 after a close family friend and neighbour kidnapped her. Even though she was found and returned, the same thing occurred again two years later. You’ve probably already watched the documentary “Abducted in Plain Sight” on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should definitely give it a shot.
It is time to move on to a more dramatic retelling of the story at this point. Nick Antosca and Jan Broberg shared their insights with us regarding the production of A Friend of the Family. Why now, and why this version specifically?
Nick Antosca Reached Out to Jan Broberg for a Friend of the Family
The Brobergs were not kept in the dark regarding the events that transpired throughout this series. During the course of our conversation, Nick made it abundantly obvious that the initial step consisted of reaching out to Jan and her family. He was serious about getting this properly. Not only did he want to pay tribute to her, but he also wanted to demonstrate what it must have been like for her parents whenever she was taken from them.
Nick also discussed the things that made this narrative so interesting and captivating. While he acknowledges that this is “terrifying” and “maddening,” he also points out that we are all human and have weaknesses. These frailties will be brought into sharp relief throughout the course of the series.
Jan has, without a doubt, been approached by a great number of individuals in the past who wanted to hear her story. What was it about the story itself that you didn’t like? What was it about Nick’s suggestion that struck a chord with her? She spoke into some detail about that, and as she did so, she became emotionally affected.
Jan explained how Nick and the other people who were there at the beginning gave her and her family a sense that they were protected. They made it quite obvious that they wanted to present the genuine story and not just steal it from the newspapers by flying out to see Jan and her family at her house.
While I was watching it, I had the impression that this “based on real story” presentation was more personable than others. The appeal of the series for me lies in the fact that it enables the reader to feel empathy for the characters in a way that was not possible in Abducted in Plain Sight.